Rajasthan Minister Ashok Chandna has reacted sharply to Sachin Pilot supporters throwing footwear towards a stage where he was present, saying if the ex-state Congress president can become Chief Minister by getting shoes thrown at him, he should do it.
He also got into a war of words with Deputy Leader of Opposition in Assembly Rajendra Rathore, who along with him and other leaders of the Congress and BJP was present on the stage when shoes were hurled.
The incident happened on Monday at a mass meeting held before the immersion of the ashes of Gurjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla in the Pushkar lake.
However, former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot was not present at the mass meeting. Both Mr Pilot and Chandna are from the Gurjar community.
As soon as Industries Minister Shakuntala Rawat, Sports Minister Chandna, and other Congress leaders got on the dais, Pilot’s supporters in the crowd started hooting, upset over the former deputy chief minister allegedly not being invited to the programme.
Some of them even threw shoes toward the stage. However, the footwear did not make contact with anyone as they fell short of the dais. Police had to be called in to control the situation.
Family members of the over 70 people killed in police firing during Gurjar agitations for reservation in the past were also present on the stage.
Chandna took to Twitter to express his displeasure over the incident.
“A wonderful sight was seen when Rajendra Rathore, the then cabinet member who ordered the killing of 72 people, was applauded when he came on stage and shoes were thrown at those whose family members went to jail in the agitation,” he tweeted in the evening.
A few hours later, he posted another tweet challenging Pilot.
“If Sachin Pilot becomes chief minister by getting a shoe thrown at me, then he should do it soon because today I do not feel like fighting. The day I come to fight, then only one will be left and I do not want this,” he said.
There has been no reaction from Pilot over this controversy so far.
Rathore reacted to Chandna’s tweet referring to him, saying that before accusing others, he should introspect and see why the situation has arisen.
“If you take the ripe crop of others to your field, then the result will be like this. Now look ahead and see what happens,” Rathore tweeted.
Chandna replied, “Wasn’t you a minister in the 2007 ‘Golikand’ government? Your experience and age are more than mine, so I will not comment. Everyone has seen who came yesterday to harvest the crop.”
Vijay Bainsla, the son of Kirori Singh Bainsla, said that Pilot was extended an invitation for the mass meeting but he did not come. “He must have been busy elsewhere.”
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot wrote a letter paying tributes to Kirori Singh Bainsla on Monday.
Pilot tweeted in the evening paying tributes to Bainsla on his birth anniversary and immersion of his ashes.
With inputs from NDTV